Battle of the Egg Tarts

After watching last weeks Great British Bake Off, I felt so inspired to make egg custard tarts.  Afterall, I do love custard tarts and would quite happily eat three one a day if calories didn't exist and I was a stick.

I've never actually made English custard tarts before. I understand the principle of making a filled tart, and making custard and I've made Hong Kong style egg tarts before so how hard could it be?
Usually I'd be telling you now that it was a horrible mistake to think that and the tarts turned out awful but they didn't! They came out (sorta) beautifully-not as neat as I'd like them but heyho, they tasted good enough!

East vs. West?

Since I had leftover pastry, I decided to make some Hong Kong style egg tarts. Whenever we go yum cha egg tarts are a  must. I sit firmly in the shortcrust pastry camp whereas some may prefer the flaky puff pastry variation. I am partial to a flaky pastry tart every so often but the pastry has to be perfect i.e. thin, crisp and flaky with a good amount of filling.

I can tell you now by the end of my Saturday afternoon baking sesh, the only thought to cross my mind was NO MORE EGG TARTS! Seriously made too much and ate too much and most importantly I was absolutely shattered from working that morning too. They were beautiful while they lasted though ;-)

Which version will you prefer?

Yields 7-9 tarts, depending on size of mould used


Tart Shells:

125g salted butter, cold
60g icing sugar
30g egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
210g plain flour

Custard Filling:

35g caster sugar
4 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk
100ml milk
100ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated nutmeg


  1. Place butter, icing sugar, flour in a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine bread crumbs
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and blitz until the mixture begins to come together into a dough
  3. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 20mins
  4. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C
  5. Once dough is chilled, roll out to approx. 3mm thick cut into circles using a pastry cutter (I used a 10cm round cutter)
  6. Press pastry circles into a muffin tin, making sure it is pressed well into the corners and no air bubbles are trapped. Trim any excess around the top of the muffin hole with a sharp knife, if you wish
  7. Fill each pastry shell with baking beans/rice etc and blind bake for 12-15mins, or until the tart shells turn a light golden brown (I placed muffin/cupcake cases into the shells and filled the shells with a layer of rice).
  8. Leave tart shells to cool and turn the oven down to 150°C. Meanwhile, make the custard filling
  9. Whisk eggs and egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl
  10. In a pan over medium heat, heat the milk and cream together until just boiling
  11. Pour heated milk and cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Strain into a measuring jug and let cool slightly
  12. Pour custard into tart shells about 3mm from the top. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for around 15mins.
  13. Turn the oven temperature up to 165°C, move tarts to the middle shelf and bake for a further 15mins, or until the custard is set but when shaken still has a slight wobble


Tart Shells:
Recipe and method as above


120g eggs
80g sugar
120ml hot water
120ml milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Add sugar to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Let cool.
  2. Whisk eggs and vanilla extract together. Add the milk followed by the cooled sugar syrup. 
  3. Strain the mixture into a measuring jug, fill the tart shells and bake as directed above.
  4. Best eaten warm, with a nice cup of tea :)

  • Pastry can be made without a food processor- rub butter together with the flour and sugar until it resembles bread crumbs. Add liquids and bring together using a fork or knife
  • For the Hong Kong Egg Tarts I used individual tart moulds that I'd bought from Hong Kong. Feel free to try out a different mould, or using a fairy cake tin for a smaller tart
  • You may find that there is a lot of custard left over for the English Custard Tarts- feel free to half the filling, or keep covered in the fridge for another batch another day!


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.